COVID-19 Update and Press Conference for May 9, 2021. (PMO)

Minister of Health and Wellness, Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Bostic, has underscored the importance of random testing for COVID-19, and has encouraged Barbadians to come forward to be tested.

During today’s COVID-19 update and press conference, Lt. Col. Bostic said random testing would be beneficial for the country.

“Ideally, we would like to do random testing in several areas, not only within the educational system. I know that a few weeks ago the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry had put together a small team of persons that were responsible…for calling around at various institutions, even business places…and offering that service to those institutions”

“We will do that also for schools and for individuals because that is the one way, especially if we’re getting people coming from across the various communities in the country, that would give us a clear indication as to exactly what is happening, and so … that offer is there,” the Health Minister stated.

In supporting Lt. Col. Bostic, the Minister of Education, Santia Bradshaw, emphasised the significance of testing, saying it was the only way to wrestle the virus to the ground.

“It really requires the Ministry of Health and Wellness being in a position to know exactly where our COVID cases are and to be able to take action quickly, and therefore, we want to encourage all teachers, if they believe that they have been exposed or even if they just want the satisfaction of knowing their status, … to go to any of the polyclinics ….

“I do feel that the message that needs to hit home across Barbados is that testing is the only way for us to know our status.  It is the only way for us to be able to be our brother’s keeper, and therefore, we need to do all that we can to protect ourselves but also to protect others as well,” Ms. Bradshaw stressed.

Meanwhile, when asked about the cluster at the Psychiatric Hospital, Minister Bostic said the hard work of the health officials had paid off, and the situation was under control.

“We are still pursuing some of the contact tracing for those persons who would have been discharged within the last two or three weeks.  We have done a lot of testing, but there’s still one or two persons that we are seeking out.  But we are feeling fairly good within ourselves that that situation is under control, but it is not yet a closed case; we are still going to be pursuing some other contacts,” he disclosed.

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